Category Archives: tools

Understanding the find(1) Utility

The Unix find(1) utility is a powerful tool, yet few people really understand how it works. It may be a bit confusing at first, but a programmer who knows his boolean algebra should be able to wrap his head around … Continue reading

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Reverting a Commit in Subversion

Once in a while, someone commits a revision that has to be rolled back later for some reason. Some teams do that as a matter of policy when people check in broken code that doesn’t compile or isn’t able to … Continue reading

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SSH Public Key Authentication

A lot of people use SSH to log into remote hosts. SSH is secure and works well, but if you have to access many hosts with long, well-chosen passwords there is a lot of typing to do just for authentication. … Continue reading

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From RCS to Mercurial

I’ve been a happy user of RCS for years (in fact, my software engineering course at university was held by Walter Tichy, the original author of RCS). The good old Revision Control System may be a dinosaur, but it served … Continue reading

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Transparent Directory Encryption

In a previous article, I discussed sshfs, a user mode filesystem based on FUSE for accessing remote files. Another useful filesystem type is encfs which provides transparent encryption of directories. With encfs, files are stored encrypted in a special directory … Continue reading

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Mounting Directories via SSH

For mounting directories from a remote machine, usually NFS or SMB/CIFS is used which requires a running file server. On many linux servers, however, all you have is a shell account, so file transfer has to be done via scp. … Continue reading

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Building RPMs Without Root Access

This week at work I had the opportunity to build an RPM for some third-party software package. My previous experiences with RPM date back to SuSE 5 almost ten years ago and I haven’t touched it ever since. Packaging for … Continue reading

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Lightweight Package Management using Stow

Package management tools like apt-get make it very easy to install and remove software. The package manager takes care of downloading the package together with its dependencies if, of course, someone has taken the time to create a package and … Continue reading

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